Renewable Energy for Global Sustainability

Energy is increasingly at the core of global sustainability and climate change mitigation discussions. As energy demand continues to grow, the ability to address energy issues, including energy access, efficiency, and renewable energy sources, will be paramount in enabling development and climate change priorities to be met in a mutually reinforcing way.

© Fuerteventura biosphere reserve.

© Fuerteventura biosphere reserve.

The need to address energy supply as the main and critical driver of sustainable development and for reaching a global climate change deal was emphasised at the UN Conference on Sustainable Development (RIO+20) and at the UN Climate Change Conference Doha 2012. This is also the objective of the “Sustainable Energy for All” initiative launched by the United Nations.


RENFORUS Objectives

As part of the UNESCO overarching Climate Change Initiative that aims at enhancing and applying the climate change knowledge base for building green societies, the RENFORUS Initiative promotes the use of UNESCO Biosphere Reserves and World Heritage Sites as field observatories on the sustainable use of renewable energy sources.

By drawing on decade-long experiences in World Heritage Sites to promote preservation of environmental and cultural assets, and in Biosphere Reserves to combine nature conservation objectives with sustainable development goals based on local community and private sector participation, the UNESCO Sites constitute a unique asset for exploring the role of renewable energy in reaching and promoting their important objectives.

The large number of UNESCO Sites around the world, in critical ecosystems ranging from small islands to mega cities, makes it possible to build and share a comprehensive knowledge base on good practices and policies on the use of environmentally sound energy technologies and their adaptation to specific contexts and needs. RENFORUS plays therefore a catalytic role in an essential international process to promote comprehensive, holistic approaches to energy, climate change and global sustainability.

RENFORUS Interactive Map


Dr Osman Benchikh *. Programme Specialist in Charge of Energy and Renewable Energy. Coordinator of RENFORUS project.
E-mail: o.benchikh(at)
Cipriano Marín **. Assistant for RENFORUS project implementation.
E-mail: c.marin(at)
Addresses: * UNESCO. 1, Rue Miollis. 75015 Paris – France
** Avda. Islas Canarias, 35 - 38007, S/C de Tenerife - Spain